In his State of the City address today, Mayor Bloomberg will propose something akin to splitting the baby on the living wage fight when he comes down in favor of a boost in the minimum wage.
“The genius of the free market is not always perfect,” Bloomberg said, according to the prepared text of his speech. “Two of our neighbors – Connecticut and Massachusetts – have raised their minimum wage above the Federal standard to address higher costs of living. And so while we would prefer the Federal government to act to keep us competitive, this year, we will join Speaker Shelly Silver in pushing for a responsible raise in the minimum wage.”
Living wage advocates have been fighting for years for a bill that would mandate that all projects that receive city subsidies pay employees who work in those new buildings at least $10/hour, or $11.50 without benefits.
The mayor does not give a dollar figure in his address, but it is safe to assume that it is less than $10/hour. It remains to be seen what effect this will have on the living wage bill, which currently sits on City Council speaker Christine Quinn’s desk.
Earlier this month, Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver proposed a minimum wage of $8/hour.
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